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Multinational Corporations and Intellectual Property Protection

One of the issues that the Multinational Corporations (MNCs) often face in developing countries is the insufficient intellectual property protection. In these countries, there might be no laws regulating the intellectual property rights or such laws could be rather perfunctory. Ultimately, the ethical dilemma will arise regarding the use of the commercial software necessary for the MNC operation in the country. On one hand, there will be a temptation to save the corporate funds on the proper software licensing. On the other hand, “The turn away from the American model does not mean less concern for ethics and social responsibility” (Ferrell, 2010, p. 296). Assuming that MNC would want to license the production software in accordance with the international regulations, the situation will create a misbalance with local companies that use the pirated software.

This type of a scenario must be approached from several directions. In cooperation with the software vendors, MNC can influence the local government by means of political lobbying. As a matter of fact, software vendors often participate in the governmental anti-piracy programs, offering attractive pricing for the licensed products. In this way, MNC would not only ensure that the local competitors are forced to spend on the software, but also will benefit from the low licensing prices on top of their corporate discount. Therefore, it could be a good idea to invest in the public education as well, promoting the benefits of the licensed production. On top of the work conditions, such an approach will attract the best employees who share modern ethical standards. Regardless of how exactly MNC will influence the issues with the intellectual property protection in the long run, the benefits will exceed all relevant costs. In protecting the intellectual property rights, MNC makes sure that its production will be treated with equal respect. 

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